Both the ACU men’s and women’s tennis teams won the South Central Regional tournament, as the women beat Tarleton State and the men defeated Cameron University.
The men’s No. 1 and No. 3 doubles teams won, giving the Wildcats a slight 2-1 lead heading into singles play. In singles, sophomores Hans Hach and Alfredo Desiati and junior Jake Hendrie each won points for ACU, with Hendrie’s win clinching the regional title for the Wildcats.
“This win gives us a lot of confidence heading to the national tournament,” said junior Bryan Joiner. “Everybody worked hard all season and we feel like we deserve this opportunity in Florida. Now our focus turns to our next opponent at nationals. We have many goals still to fulfill as a team and have a great opportunity to do something special.”
Sophomore Eldad Campbell lost his singles match in an extremely tight one against Cameron’s No. 2 Thomas Peixoto, 7-6, 7-6; Joiner and sophomore John Strahl did not finish their matches after Hendrie clinched the title with the final team score of 5-2. It is ACU’s third win over the Aggies in as many weeks.
“I think the key for today’s win was the team’s mental preparation; it’s not easy to beat a team three times in a row,” Desiati said. “We’ll be focusing on trying to build our minds to a better stage, which will be fundamental for nationals.”
The women’s team followed the men’s win and, like the men, won the No. 1 and No. 3 doubles matches to open up a 2-1 advantage over Tarleton State. The first three singles matches to end were won by the Lady Wildcat sophomores Julia Mongin and Hannah Kelley, and senior Natalie Friend. Mongin’s 6-2, 6-2 victory was the closest of the three completed matches.
“After seeing the guys win, we really wanted this win even more so we can go to Florida with them,” said Mongin. “I just wanted to play well, have fun and win.”
The three quick wins didn’t allow the other three singles matches to end as the Wildcats clinched the title with Kelley’s 6-2, 6-1 point, making the final team score 5-2. ACU faced the TexAnns early in the season, defeating them 7-2.
“We knew we were going to have to fight hard for this,” said freshman Micah Hermsdorf. “We’re confident, we played our best, and it turned out. Coach said we worked hard, we played as a team, and we did a good job, but we’re going to have to fight even harder for nationals.”
This will be the men’s fifth straight appearance in nationals, and the women’s 16th consecutive berth in the national tournament, which will be played in Altamonte Springs, Fla., May 11-May 14. The 11th is Wednesday of finals week.
“I have to take all my finals early, before nationals, because I’m going back home to France as soon as the national tournament is over,” Mongin said. “I have a busy week ahead of me, but Coach always tells us to give our energy on the court, to stay positive and do the best we can. I’m happy with the way we played, and looking forward to nationals.”